'Half the people who killed my son didn't even know him' - Mum of Tavis speaks of heartbreak
PUBLISHED: 16:30 15 March 2019
The mother of murdered Tavis Spencer-Aitkens has paid a moving tribute to him - and called for tougher sentences for people carrying knives.
The mother of Tavis Spencer-Aitkens has called for tougher prison sentences for people who carry knives.
Speaking after five men were convicted of killing her 17-year-old son, Sharon Box said: “I feel there is no order or control in Ipswich and stronger sentences should be passed down to those that think they can take a life and get away with it.
“There should also be tougher sentences for carrying a knife in the first place and more stop and searches by police.”
Mrs Box also spoke about the issue of gangs and described Tavis, who has a twin brother Tyler, as a “normal teenager” who did not live the “gang life” portrayed during the trial.
“I just want everyone to understand that Tavis was a normal kid, a normal teenager and he would never have taken a life the way his was taken, never.
“He didn’t live the gang life he’s been portrayed as living and had a job working as a mechanic with his uncle.
“I am not trying to make out that Tavis was a perfect 17-year-old as he had made some mistakes, haven’t we all?
“However, he didn’t deserve to lose his life and most of his friends around him were just that - his friends.
“He went to school with his friends from reception year to high school and they remained his friends to the end.
“Yes there are gangs in Ipswich, those that come to Ipswich from different parts of the country, mainly London or surrounding areas to sell drugs and cause devastation to the people of Ipswich.
“I can guarantee that half the people who killed my son did not even know him. That’s a hard thing for a mother to live with and means they killed my son for absolutely nothing and that’s disgusting.
“My son was not part of that lifestyle, he just hung around with his friends, cousins and his girlfriend. If people want to think it’s a gang thing, then that’s up to them.
“Tavis just lived and walked the streets of Nacton and Ipswich, because that’s what he knew, it was his right.
“He was born in Nacton and so was I. Every person has the right to walk the streets freely and safely. Why has my son been murdered in broad daylight?
“Tavis was not in town that day causing trouble at Lush. He was in Nacton minding his own business,” said Mrs Box.
Tavis and his twin were born on February 2 2001 and were “a joy from day one”, said their proud mum.
“Tavis always kept me on my toes and when he was about five or six it was clear he was going to be cheeky, funny and a little bit naughty, but always loving and caring.
“Tavis loved people and had the kindest heart. He would give you the last pound in his pocket, that’s the sort of person he was.
“Tavis was polite and respectful and always well-mannered and I raised him to be all of these things.
“He loved his family and friends and anyone who knew him will be heartbroken not to have him in their lives.
“He touched so many people. There will never be another Tavis,” said Mrs Box.
She said Tavis had loved taking his BMX bike to Landseer Park and had also enjoyed swimming, tennis, school athletics and especially football.
“He played for many teams over the years but the main one was Coplestonians where the team made history by winning the league one year.
“Tavis scored more than 40 goals that year. They were great times and we have some wonderful memories,” said Mrs Box.
Tavis also loved music and often went to a recording studio to make music with his friends.
“We enjoyed many family holidays together and I’ll never forget how excited Tavis and Tyler were when they first got on a plane when they were six. Wonderful memories I’ll never forget.”
“All of Tav’s hopes and dreams have been taken from him. His future has been taken away from him.
“No-one will ever know what it means for us to have to live without him. Only we know, those that truly love and miss him now and forever.
Mrs Box thanked family and friends for their ongoing support .“We love you Tav and always will,” she said.